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A Walk In The Park

The weather has gone from minus 10 and storms to sunshine and plus 17 this weekend, so today, as they said it was going to get upwards of 20 degrees, I grabbed my camera and went for a walk in out local park. The Bois de Coulonge, which roughly translates as the Coulonge woods!

It’s literally ten minutes around the corner from where I live, and with the sun beckoning me outside, I went out in search of flowers.

Well, I didn’t find many flowers but I did find the lodge (home) of the exceedingly rare lesser brown ground beaver. Alas, there was no sighting of the very shy creature, itself. But then, that’s only to be expected.

Spring in the Park

Well, it might already be spring elsewhere around the world, but here in Québec City, we’re still lingering in winter. There’s still some snow on the ground, the temp is hovering around 4 degrees—going up from minus 4 first thing this morning. And flower that everyone else saw in February or March are only now just poking their head up above ground.

It’s been a long hard winter up here, in the Frozen North. And the Jardin Botanique Roger-Van den Hende, at the University Laval, look a bit bleak. But I’m sure, in a matter of days, with some warm sunshine, it will all change. And everything will turn green again.

Click on the images to see the full-size photos.

A Maple Easter

We finally got out to take our long awaited walk in the Old Quarter, down by the marina, ending at the Food Market. Specifically to check out the Maple Sugar products and found … a sugar shack inside too!

While we stocked up on maple syrup produces for friends and family, we learnt that the old market will be closing June 2. A new and improved version is opening way across town, at the Le Grand Marché! It looks stunning and I can’t wait to check it out in June.

Opening JUNE 14-16

Monday to Friday: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Le Grand Marché de Québec
250, boulevard Wilfrid-Hamel

Liquid Gold Season

Quebeckers love their maple syrup and syrup production has been in full swing for the last few weeks. With Sugar Shacks treating tourists and locals alike, to that sweet, sticky liquid gold, in all its forms; pouring it onto crushed ice to set, and twirled onto a lolly stick as maple taffy.

Did you know, it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of maple syrup.

Fun facts about Maple Syrup:

  • The colour of maple syrup depends on a number of factors, including the age of the tree, the amount of sugar present, the soil, and the time in the season.
  • During tapping season you will see spouts sticking out the side of a tree, which allows the sap to drip into a waiting bucket.
  • Tree sap runs up the length of a tree.
  • Not every tree can be tapped as they need to be at least 100 years old for sap production to start.
  • A 100 year old tree is about 12 inches in diameter.
  • Québec has about 34 million maple trees under production.

The classification of maple syrup is based on the colour and authenticity of its maple flavour. There are four classes of syrup:

  • Golden — delicate taste
  • Amber — rich taste
  • Dark — robust taste
  • Very Dark — strong taste

While there are four classifications of syrup there are only two grades: Grade A and Processing Grade. Only Grade A is sold in shops.

Also, Canada is the single biggest exporter and producer of maple syrup around the globe—about 12 million gallons of the liquid gold!

Well, there you have it. It’s maple time in Quebec, so why don’t you join us, and see what all the fuss is about!

For more information, check out: Sugar Shacks